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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 14, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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we can't talk about it anymore. we have to start doing things in america. >> thank you for joining me. you have all been through horror stories of your own and this must have brought become horrifying memories. president obama talked about in a moving emotional way and it is time that american plixs did something instead of worrying about the gun lobby who make millions and billions of dollars in what often leads to appalling death. it is time for moral conviction and courage. stay with cnn all weekend long. the latest on the school shooting. we will be back with a special edition of piers morgan tonight. ac 360 starts now. there is only one story tonight. you know what it is. we have new details to tell but and we won't pretend we understand it any better than after it happened. it is a horror beyond words. an elementary school, kids as young as 5 years old, the second
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deadliest school shooting in this country. 20 little children, seven adults killed plus the shooter who took his own life. nall a close-knit quiet community, 90 minute drive from new york. we will give you the latest information, but what we will not do is repeat the shooter's name over and over again. as has been done throughout the day. we don't want history to remember this murderer but the victims, the teachers, the children. those whose lives have been so unfairly taken. we have a teamworking on the tragedy and we have soledad o'brien on the scene. there vigils tonight. the people of newtown trying to come to grips with what happened here. behind us, this morning. right now, right now, this is still an active crime scene. that means that many of the bodies are lying still where they fell inside of that school, including the body of a killer. we want to at least tell you his name. it is adam lanza. as anderson said we are not
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going to repeat it much tonight at all. his mother taught at the school. she was found dead at the family home. . it's unclear how she died or when she died. >> the police say it is an active crime scene than and they told us they thought by sunday they would be able to have the crime scene part of it, the investigation at least that portion of it wrapped up. it might be as soon as tomorrow morning. as you can imagine, knowing that your child has perished inside of that school and you can't even go and get a body. it would be a horrific thing. >> let's hope the children are brought home soon. we know the mother of the shooter legally purchased the weapons that were used.
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hln's rita cosby said he broke his way in to the school, two semiautomatic handguns and a bushmaster. the brother was taken in to custody for questioning. they did not label him a suspect. there's a lot to tell you about this hour but let's start at the beginning. >> individual i have on the phone is continuing to hear what he believes to be gun fire. >> the first word was chilling. it only got worse. >> they are reporting multiple fatalities involved in the shooting at the elementary school. >> with each new report the horror deepened. >> reports say the number of dead closer to 30 than to 20 and sadly most of them are children. >> every detail, every fact brought more sadness. each fresh piece of information a part of the picture. a school, kindergarten through 4th grade.
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a sanction ware suppo . >> the school went in to lockdown. >> a student's teenage big brother describing the sounds of gunmen on the loose at sandy hook. >> on and off duty troopers responded and with newtown police immediately upon arrival entered the school and began a complete shooter's search of the building. >> they arrived to carnage and the killer said a source was dressed for battle in black fatigues and armed for mass murder with two pistols and a military-style rifle. in parts of the school, students were told to hide in corners. teachers risked their lives to pull boys and girls to safety. >> so grateful to the teacher who saved him. >> the teacher saved his life? >> she definitely did. he had bullets going by him and she grabbed him and another child and pulled them into a classroom.
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>> eventually the kids were evacuated to a nearby fire house where frantic parents descended. >> i'm still terrify and in shock. i don't know everything that happened. i know there people missing that have been taken to the hospital. >> his son was okay and his teacher was alive, as well. 20 other children and six adults were killed. the dead believed to include sandy hook's school psychologist and the principal. police discovered another adult victim, the gunman's mother reportedly at home in newtown. the gunman too is dead. police say they fired no shots. a tight-knit community including a nurse who rushed to help. shock and distraught. sgluf been crying. >> yes. >> because of what you saw >> one of the cops said it's the worst thing he had ever seen in his entire career, but when they told the parents, all the parents were waiting for their children to come out. they thought they were still alive. there was 20 parents who were
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told their children are dead. it was awful. >> awful and late today speaking for the nation, but also as a father, an emotional president obama fought back tears. >> this evening michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do. hug our children tighter and tell them we love them and we will remind each other how deeply we love one another. but there are families in connecticut that cannot do that tonight. and they need all of us right now. >> we will bring you all of president obama's comments later on in this hour ahead. as one mother said too many of our babies diechltd with us on the phone from newtown is janet volmei volmer who teaches kindergarten there. how are you doing?
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>> i'm okay. my family is here, and that helps. my husband came and my dogs and sons. >> you were in your classroom. >> i was in my classroom. >> you were in your classroom. what did you hear? >> well, about 9:30, 9:40, we heard noises and the announcement system was still on. so it didn't go off. so you could hear what sounded like pops, gunshots. of course i'm not going to tell that to 5-year-olds. so i said we are going to a safe area and we read a story and kept them calm. did a lockdown drill. closed the doors, covered the windows and kept the children with us. i have other adults. >> i find that amazing that fearing that you hear gunshots you were able to have the composure to sit down and read to your students. that's extraordinary.
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>> that's what you have to do with 5-year-olds because you can't lose it. you just -- i have been doing this a long time. it is my 18th year of teaching. i didn't know. there was no announcement of what was going on. my instinct was it wasn't good. so we kept them calm. we stayed in the room until there was banging at the door, which were the police and the troopers or whoever was there and they had us exit the building and told the children to cover their eyes and walk in a line and leave the building and that's when we went to the fire house. we were all safe. i had 19 children in the room with me and thank goodness all of their parents were able to come and pick them up and take them home. >> as you were reading to them, did the kids realize something was going on or did they think it was a drill like before? >> it didn't seem a natural thing, although we do practice drills.
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we just said, we're not really sure, but we're going to be safe because we are sitting over here an we are all together. and that's -- as we got to the fire house later on, as a lot of the events began to unfold throughout the day i think some of them realized the magnitude of what was going on. they saw other people upset. we held them close until their parents came and we released them an my room, my children were all accounted for and safe in my kindergarten classroom. >> it's so, for all of us it is so incomprehensible and obviously you knew the children and the families involved. your colleagues have lost their lives. i'm not going to certainly ask about the kids but what do you want the rld to know about your colleagues. >> we heard a lot of things at the fire house. people were texting news reports and this one and that one. i'm sure -- i'm not sure still of the magnitude of who everyone
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is because i hear six or seven adults and many children, and i know those first graders were children i had in my room last year. so those parents were showing up today and they couldn't find their children and they were all taken to separate rooms. so, i don't know who they are but i'm sure as the days unfold it will not be good news for many of those people. >> it's really beyond words. and i appreciate you taking a moment to talk to us tonight. really is. janet, thank you for your composure. it is extraordinary what you did and the other colleagues of yours. >> some of those teachers were heros. some of them in the front building. we had one teacher who was on the news earlier. she locked everybody in the bathroom and wouldn't open the door. we do this as teachers. we are trained. we do have drills.
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we talk to the kids in case something were to happen. this is what we do and that is what happened today. everybody just instinctively kept their children safe. >> there's a lot of teachers around the country that i think of as heros every day and today frankly you showed that and all of your colleagues showed that. so thank you. >> i wish you peace and strength in the difficult days ahead. amy seaver is joining us on the phone. her daughter is a first grader at sandy hook. she and other parents got the chilling phone call saying the school was on lockdown. how is your daughter doing, your family. how are you holding up? >> okay. it's a very rough night here when your first grader goes to bed and says, mommy, is anyone from my last year are they all okay? are they all okay and you look at them and say i'm not really sure. it is a rough night to tell that to your 7-year-old.
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it's very, sad night for this town and a lot of families here. >> has your daughter wanted to talk about what happened or first grade -- do they want to talk? >> she asked a lot of questions about the principal. she got wind quickly that something was wrong with the principal. which we didn't tell her until just now that yes, she was definitely hurt and it wasn't good. it's taking her a while. i think tomorrow will be probably harder for her. i also have a fifth grader who came off the bus cry canning because she had a sister who she was worried about. just basically left that school a few months ago. i think for a lot of those kids they are kind of older and can get it a little faster, even though they weren't in it.
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so the questions i think are coming. they are not really here yet, especially for the littler ones. it started tonight as i put them to bed. >> do you know how you will answer those questions. a lot of parents around the world whose children will be asking them questions. do you think you know what you will say? >> unfortunately we have been through a bit of trauma in our own life. for me and i can't speak for other moms or moms around the world but for my family, i speak quietly and truthfully. and i try to answer the questions that are asked and give the information that they ask for without a lot of detail. i definitely don't lie. i was point blank asked tonight
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if the principal was okay and i said no and she asked if she was dead and i said yes. i don't lie to my children. i try not to offer too much because i'm not sure what they know. so i try to sit back and wait for them to ask but if they ask me a question i give them an honest answer. unfortunately for a lot of us in town, the answers are not good. >> the principal -- >> our hearts are sad tonight. i don't think that anyone can answer these questions easily. they are definitely not fun answers. >> i've heard so many great things about the principal, dawn hochsprung and the fact that your child was acting about her. what do you want people to know about dawn? >> very lovely, compassionate woman. extremely helpful, as a chir on one of the pta committees could not have come out to support me
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better this year. i needed support this year and she was the first one on my team, the first one to help. the first one to be there. never saw her without a smile. you know, just in my daughter's classroom this week reading a book to the kids. very, very lovely. very lovely woman and definitely had the children, i believe had the children's best intentions all the time. she was always looking out for them. very sad day. >> yeah. you must be exhausted and i'm going to let you go. i appreciate you talking tonight. i really just wish you and your family a lot of strength. thank you. >> my family is one of the lucky ones, anderson, unfortunately there's a lot of people that aren't so lucky tonight in town. but thank you. we pray for all of the families that are out there tonight. >> i think there's a lot of
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prayers an the world for those families. amy, thank you. >> thank you. >> that is frankly unbelievable. let's go to sol dad. -- soledad. >> it really is. it is almost impossible to fathom what the people of newtown are going through right now and so many lives were lost. so many other people's lives were changed forever. friends and neighbors and even in some cases strangers gathered and continue to gather at this hour to hold each other and cry and to remember. there was a vigil tonight. took place at a local church. jason has been there all day and through the night and he has an update on how that went. jason, the mood has to be so sad. tell me a little bit about tonight's vigil. >> you know, i have seen a lot
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of emotional things throughout my life. tonight was -- it's really hard to explain. the vigil here tonight, so many people came out here soledad. there wasn't enough room for everyone. they stood outside in the freezing cold. hundreds of people stood in silence and listened. when the vigil led out, all of those standing outside went inside and you heard some singing at one point. groups broke off in to separate groups and started singing. people came here tonight and i know you heard anderson give the emotional interview. people came looking for answers like that mother was trying to give answers to her daughter. it's difficult. it's very tough to dry try to get those answers at this time. people came here looking for that. they came here to lean on each other and they turned to their faith. this is the kind of place where so many people that came out here tonight knew someone. they knew one of the faculty
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members, knew the children. told a story about a little girl who lost her life who was supposed to be at a christmas pageant and another man who knew the principal and spoke about her. i want you to listen to a little bit of that conversation. >> dawn, the principal at sandy hook, i had dinner with her last spring. she was exciting, kbub brant and incredible educator and to lose somebody like that in the district is sad because they lost a leader today at sandy hook but the prayers are for our community, as well. >> one of the other points he wanted to make is this was a woman who loved not only her school can and her job but all of the children at the school, as well. soledad. >> i know aud chance to talk to the deacon and i'm sure he will be the focus of many of the
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questions people are having. what did he tell you? >> it was difficult for him he became emotional during our conversation. he said at least a hundred people came through the church doors that day. they were looking for answers an i asked how do you provide answers and he said it is too soon to come up with a deep philosophical answer of why this happened. he was feeling the emotion of what happened as well. he knew some of the children that were killed, including some of the faculty members. he spoke about one child in particular. he remembered receiving her first communion here at the church and a child who left an impression on him and he explains the reason why. >> i heard one of the victims, i'm not sure about it, but i heard one of the victims recently. it was birthday money. she gathered up her birthday
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gifts and donated it to the parish to give it to the hurricane sandy victims. 6 years old. so that's -- that makes it very, very personal. and very intimate. >> his struggle is that he has to be a rock for the community now. he has to try to keep it together as more people come to him to lean on him for emotional support. i said what do you do? he said i'm going to go home and hug my own daughter and come back here and be the support that this community needs. >> jason carroll for us. thank you. appreciate that. anderson, as jason points out it is a question are all trying to get an answer to it. the why behind it. we talked about the shoot er but the motivation is the thing that i don't think that anyone is close to understanding at this point. >> yeah. and may never. you know, sometimes there isn't any why. we'll continue to investigate.
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appreciate it. we will come back to you shortly. authorities have not yet released the names of the victims. police say the process of identification continues at this hour. the children's bodies are still inside the school and will be throughout the evening. as we learn who they are, we will tell you about them when we learn about them and when their parents want you to know about them. it is the victims we want history to remember and honor. according to the witness, the school's principal and psychologist are among the dead. you heard parents talk about dawn hochsprung . she became the principal at sandy hook elementary school in 2010. she had 12 years of experience as a school administrator and a mom raising two daughters and three step daughters according to a local paper and a lot of folks said she was passionate about her job, an expert on curriculum, fun but a firm leader they said. one said she was the kind of
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person you would wanted to educate your kids and kids love her. that was her. she wrote about her love of reading and posted messages and photos about events and developments at the school. on august 24th, she tweeted this. she said welcoming our kinders this morning. 74 new opportunities to inspire life-long learning. she was talking about the new kindergarten class. she had installed a new security system at the school and all visitors had to ring a doorbell at the entrance and wait to be buzzed in after the doors automatically locked at 9:30 a.m. the glass entrance was shot out or smashed allowing him in the building. we don't have photographs of the other victims, the school psychologi psychologist. she had been at sandy hook for 18 years, undergraduate degree
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in psychology and masters and six year professional degree. she was a wife and mom. married to her husband bill for more than 30 years. two grown daughters. the oldest works as a high school chorus teacher in new jersey. mary sherlock and dawn hochsprung we will remember them. when we come back, more on president obama's emotional reaction to the shooting. we want to play his comments and more from the parents, as well. >> it's not something that you shake off very easily and certainly not for little people and we lost a lot of babies today in this town. and there are a lot of very sad families and as everyone can think, you never think it will happen but it happens all over the world at this point.
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doesn't even seem real. doesn't seem possible. it's like you read it in the paper, see it in the news, you are like oh, my god, that poor family and then something happens so close to home, it's like, i think i'm still in shock to be honest with you.
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>> a lot of people are feeling the same way tonight, in shock. the massacre inside the school is the deadliest elementary school in american history. in all of the words have been spoken today and the words i'm speaking in this hour sound so small in the face of this horror. 20 children, seven adults. last night they were alive getting ready for another day of school. and tonight they are gone. president obama spoke to the nation earlier. we played some of it before the top of the program, but i think it is worth hearing all of what he said. >> this afternoon i spoke with governor malloy and fbi director mueller. i offered governor malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have every single resource he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families. we've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years and each time i learn the news,
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i react not as a president but as anyone else would, as a parent. and that was especially true today. i know there's not a parent in america who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them. birthdays, graduations, weddings, children of their own. among the fallen were also teachers.
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men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. our hearts are broken today for the parents, grand parent s, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost. our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well. for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain. as a country, we have been through this too many times. whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon. or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago. these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods. these children are our children. we will have to coming to and take meaningful action to
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prevent more tragedies like regardless of the politics. this evening michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do which is hug our children a little tighter and will tell them we love them. and we will remind each other how deeply we love one another. but there are families in connecticut that cannot do that tonight. an they need all of us right now. in hard days to come, the community needs us to be at our best as americans, and i will do everything in my power, as president, to help. while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need to remind them that we are there for them. that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just
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in their memories but also in ours. may god bless the memory of the victims. and in the words of scripture, heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds. >> president obama speaking earlier today, not just as president but as a father of two daughters. denise's daughter goes to sandy hook. she was in school this morning. we spoke earlier tonight. >> denise, i cannot imagine what this day has been like for you, obviously for your child. how is your child and how are you doing? >> i think everyone's coping as best as they possibly can. it's shocking when it happens anywhere. we're all trying to wrap our arms around the situation as best as we can.
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>> does your daughter want to talk about it with you or are you encouraging her to or how are you handling this? a lot of parents around the world are trying to figure out what to say to their child. >> you know, the hard thing for me is i'm a new yorker and i guess i'm accustomed to manhattan and always telling my kids to be careful. i guess you never expect it to happen in your school. at the end of the day, you just let her talk. she mentioned quite a bit about the principal, who many of us worked with. i adored her. i worked with her personally with my business. that is one person i know we lost on a personal level. i know they are going to have the counsellors at the intermediary school today. they were all welcome to go there. if they need to speak to somebody, they will.
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>> has your daughter said much about what she saw or heard? >> she did mention that she did of course hear gunshots. they were on the same floor. her teacher managed to take two children out of the hallway and pull them into the classroom. lock the door and move everybody over to the other side of the room. it was very confusing as it would be in any of these cases to go and pick up your child once we figured out that everything was dispatched to sandy hook elementary. i was one of the first parents there along with a friend of mine. we figured out what was going on and i ran over there. they were smart to get them out of the building and move them over to the firehouse. you can see that my daughter's teacher was visibly upset as well as many of the children there. she did a very heroic thing and
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pulled two kids out of the hall way and shoved them in the class and locked the door. the kids are going to suffer from this like everything else. it's a psychological event that will take time for healing. as long as everyone gets the proper help, it's not something you shake off easily and not for little people. we lost a lot of babies today in this town. there a lot of very sad families. as everyone can think, you never think it's going to happen, but basically it happens all over the world at this point. we have to be cognizant of mental health and cognizant of gun control in my eyes. and also about how schools are locked up these days. it's very unfortunate but you
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have to think of somebody blowing them up. it is unfortunate state of affairs but reality these days. >> denise, i'm sorry that that reality was visited upon your daughter today and everybody else. i wish you strength and peace in the difficult days ahead. thank you for talking tonight. >> thank you so much, anderson. >> there will be a lot of difficult days ahead. let's go back to soledad. >> as word started to spread throughout the state today, certainly so did the shock and horror and now there is the grieving. >> you can never be prepared for this kind of incident. what has happened, what has transpired at that school building will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted. i only ask that our fellow citizens here and around the world who offered their
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assistance remember all of the victims in their prayers. >> that was connecticut governor's governor malloy speaking earlier today. he said his main objective is working with federal and local authorities. susan candiotti has been handling the coverage of the investigation. let's focus on what we know about the shooter. >> not very much. that he is 20 years old. we understand that he came to the school with three weapons. two of them were handguns. with one described as a glock, one described as a sig sauer and another one not found in the classroom with him but in a car outside of the school than is called a.223 bushmaster which is a semiautomatic weapon. it seems those guns were not registered to him, but we are
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told, according to tour law enforcement sources they belong to his mother, which is, don't have an explan mags for that right now. >> all of those guns legally purchased in the state. >> yes. we were told they were legally purchased and registered in the state of connecticut. but how did he get ahold them we don't know. we believe he might have been living with his mother. i say that because our sources say his mother's body was found inside of a residences and she lives in the air. it is possible he lived with his mother. stimwaiti still waiting for that detail. >> police went and took the brother for questioning as well. >> the brother is a little older, 24 years old. he lives in an apartment in hoboken. authorities naturally did go to him to ask him questions about his brother. everyone is being pretty tight lipped about what he told the authorities, but also his father
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has been questioned, as well. his father is divorced from the mother who was killed in this incident. and so we are simply trying to find out more. >> susan candiotti, the investigation continues. thank you for reporting on that, the suspected shooter's mother. we will obviously get more information as well. let's get back to anderson for more. >> yeah, soledad, we are limiting the use of the killer's name. we don't want to repiet it over and over again. we don't want it to give him a household name and we don't want to give encouragement to someone who thinks they can solve something through murder. drew griffin is joining me live. >> anderson, having covered so many of these it is playing out in a sickening routine, a shooter with possible mental health issues. a family trying to deal with those issues. something snaps. a gun is easily accessed and an outburst of violence in the case
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of this 20-year-old shooter. it is playing out exactly in that order. here's what we know. the 20-year-old had an older brother. that brother reportedly told abc news the shooter had a personality disorder. he also mentioned autism. cnn heard that same information from a man who called himself a friend of the shooters in newtown where the shooter lived. we can now confirm the two handguns and semiautomatic rifle were, as susan said, legally owned by the shooter's mother, now legally deceased. and is standard in these cases we find people that are shocked that the particular shooter could have been involved in anything like this, as is the case with one of the shooter's former classmates and former school bus driver. listen to what they said today. >> just a kid. >> just a kid. >> just a kid. >> never anti-social? >> no. no. >> troublemaker? >> no. definitely not.
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>> noticeable? >> did he blend in to the background? yeah. nothing that would warrant any of this. >> they are saying he went after his mom and her class of kids. can you wrap your head around that? >> no, i cannot. i don't know who would do anything like this. >> so your general sense is what? this is unspeakable. i first heard about it, i'm still in shock. i want to go. i need to go walk. >> he was a nice kid. very polite. she raised verier nice boys to me. that's why i think it is a shock to even know them and realize who they are. and what he did. you can't understand what happened. that he snapped, what have you
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and he took such innocent lives. so what can we expect? anderson, as we learned in the other cases, virginia tech, the shooting of congresswoman giffords, the mass shooting in the movie theater in colorado, i think by tomorrow we will see in hindsight, multiple warning signs. dangerous messages ignored or an obsession with the mom's guns that weren't taken seriously or the family, in many cases, doesn't know how to handle the situation. they don't have anywhere to turn. there will never be an answer or an explanation that could be anywhere near good enough for the victims' families to understand this. a lot of cases it is senseless and never understood. >> yeah. in hearing one of the people saw autistic, or could be autistic, that doesn't -- i've never heard of somebody who is autistic doing something like this. >> it is two separate things.
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the brother said personality disorder and also autistic. so we're not trying to put those together or saying one leads to the other but there were some early hints, like we have seen in other cases where there is a mental issue going on and we learn more as things go on that there may have been warning signs. that's what i expect and seen a lot of experts expect talking about this. >> there's going to be a lot of debate over gun issues and gun control. connecticut has strict gun laws and these guns were legally purchased as far as we know by the mother. >> yeah, that's right. if you were going to make a gun law that prevent you would have to take this woman's legally owned guns away. that's basically it. the reason we found out so soon where the guns come from, because connecticut has its own registry. the handguns are registered. you have you have to have a certificate to own handgun and that own comes with a test, not a test but a class, a handgun
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safety class. nobody under 21 can own a handgun and they have an assault weapons ban. this assault rifle, i don't have the details but if it was legally owned she must have owned it before '93 and also had a certificate of possession registered with the state because some older guns were grandfathered in. you can't have an assault weapon in the state of connecticut from what i am a reading from the gun. >> the other question is how were the guns stored. were they in a lock box which is the recommended way to store guns. for parents the ordeal began with words sandy hook elementary was on a lockdown. that was the first word that parents got. when we come back, we will have more on what happened throughout the day. u6sh9sds i 2k3w50e ask tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world.
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rushed home. she heard some bangs and she was brought in to a bathroom. >> it was frightening. it was like my heart stopped
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beating. it was like -- i can't even explain it. >> jason carroll gave us a look inside the vigil mass. and we are joined by the pastor. appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. how do you -- what do you say to a parent? what do you say to a parent whose going through the worst possible grief imaginable? >> i have had a number of conversations with parents a number of them belong to this parish community. i must say the words are few. what can you really say? many of them just said to me thank you for being here with us. we prayed together. we hugged each other. there were a lot of tears and emotion and i don't think it settled in to their lives that their child has been taken from them. i must say for the parents i spoke with today there's a tremendous am of love for these children and i know the days
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ahead will be very difficult. we as a community, certainly as a church community will be present to them but the words, what can you say at a time like this? >> there are a lot of parpts wrestling around the country and probably around the world with what are they going to say to their children who ask questions about this. what would you recommend for people to say to their kids, not kids from newtown at the school but who hear about this and want to know are they safe about what happened? >> you know, i think that's the one thing you have to assure them about. some of the circumstances are beyond any human control. we have to teach these children that they have to trust. i know it is a difficult world in which we live and it is very difficult to trust everyone, but they have to have faith and they have to have faith in god and faith in each other. i hope that these parents will certainly learn from this once again the value of family and keep priorities very straight.
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these children need to know they are loved, that they are in environments where they can be safe and where they can grow up to be productive citizens. i don't know how you take the fear out of a child's heart except by love. these children today were deeply loved by their parents. i'm sure when they drop them off to school this morning the last thing on their mind or the minds of their children is this would be the way the day will end. i hope parents will take this as an opportunity to talk to the children about the importance of being family and the importance of trusting and loving each other. >> one of the things i was thinking about today after the aurora shooting in aurora, colorado they had a memorial service and i remember the speakers would read the name of each person killed. the crowd would shout back, we will remember you. and i thought that was so powerful and i thought about that today. we have been trying to emphasize the importance of remembering the victims and i think we saw
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that tonight at the vigil service that you held where people were outside. so many people wanted to go they couldn't fit in. was your message tonight? >> the message was that i thought this was a day about hearts. i witnessed this morning being with the families. i was with them almost six hours, compassionate, broken hearts, caring hearts and it was about love lost but love never forgotten. i encourage our people tonight we have to do something about violence in this country. violence in the media and entertainment industry. it is filling their heads with an awareness that evil does exist in this world, but that good always conquers evil. the only way we will change is by coming together as a community. that's what happened tonight. people came together to support and encourage each other and to let each other know there is a better way to live. we don't have to be afraid if we
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work together as a community. >> i know it has been a long day for you and a horrific day for you. appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. thank you. >> thank you. thank you. >> yeah. and again, soledad as we have been saying all day long there are many difficult days ahead. >> no question. for those who lost children and those whose children survived those tough conversations. many parents were telling us what happened when they came racing to the elementary school over hi shoulder. they got the word that the school was on lockdown and they were panicked. some tried to run to the school. they were sent to a nearby fire station, frantic scene by all accounts that we have heard as people had to sit there and wait to see if their children were alive or not. earlier, i spoke with christine wofford about her experience. her son is a second grader at the school.
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how are you doing now? >> it's still, still processing. it's scary, scary. no words. >> tell us how your son is doing. are you encouraging him to talk and share or are you trying to take his mind off of the terrible things he witnessed and experienced? >> we have dean little bit -- w have done a little bit of each. trying to spoil him let him play the ps-3 and letting him know when we found out about other children that he knows. >> you have gotten an electronic alert is how you got the message in a robocall. can you describe what was said and it must have been the most terrifying thing. >> my husband and i was sitting this and a neighbor was over and we got a robo call that all the
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schools were in lockdown due to a shooting. and we immediately got on-line and my neighbor said her husband said it was sandy hook and we hopped in the car and headed to the school. >> the school was on lockdown, what does that mean? >> i'm not sure exactly what that means. when i got there, all of the children that had ben vac waited were in the fire house, very close by. >> how is your son doing and how are the kids he was with holding up? it. >> varied. my son seemed to be okay. he's like mom, i'm okay. i'm safe. gave mae big hug. a lot of children were crying and scared. >> what did he describe that happened? >> he said he heard what sounded like large pans falling. just loud noises. he said he teacher stepped outside of the classroom and immediately came in and locked the door and had them get in a corner and sit down and had them to start reading quietly.
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>> how much time went by between that happening and before he was able to get to you? >> i don't know. he isn't able to piece how much time passed. he said after a little while a police officer came and took them out of the building and brought them to the fire house. >> we know the principal had installed a system where you have to be buzzed in. >> yes. it's been that way for the two years that we have been here. you had to buzz -- you have to ring a doorbell to be let in. the office is right in front of those doors. so they can look out and see who's at the door. >> any reason for that? it is typical in big cities certainly, but in communities that are pretty rural, it's a little bit of a rarity sometimes. >> i think it is just, they take the safety of our children very serious. it's a fairly large school. there's between 500 and 600 students there. they want to keep control and know who's in the building with
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our children. >> i was talking to the state police and they said that they are processing the scene still which means there are still some children inside. how do you explain to your son what has happened about his classmates? >> we are a fairly religious family and we have talked about they have gone to heaven to be with jesus and that's about all we can say. talk about you are not going to see them anymore and they are not going to be around. you really struggle to find the words, you know, as to what happened. >> you should know that everyone is sending well wishes not just to you and your family but your community as a whole. so many people have asked me to pass that along. >> we're a strong community, a strong family community with a lot of love. i think that we will get through this somehow, some way. >> thank you so much. we appreciate it.
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back to anderson. >> thank you very much. we will be right back. oh, hey mike. what are you up to? oh, just diagramming this accident with my state farm pocket agent app. you can also get a quote and pay your premium with this thing. i thought state farm didn't have all those apps? where did you hear that? the internet. and you believed it? yeah. they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. where did you hear that? [ both ] the internet. oh look. here comes my date. i met him on the internet. he's a french model. uh, bonjour. [ male announcer ] state farm. more mobile than ever. get to a better state. more mobile than ever. bye! bye! bye! santa, we made a video for your trip! yeah, you can watch it on your sleigh! ok! here you go. aw, thanks elves. i also made you a video. you are so sweet. but you probably shouldn't watch it on the sleigh.
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you heard the monsignor weitz talking about the broken, loving hearts. he spoke of healing those hearts. here's more from the vigil today. >> i would like to share a letter from his holiness, pope benedict xvi. i was informed of the shooting at handy hook elementary in newtown, connecticut. i convey my heart felt and prayers to the victims and families. to all of those in the community of newtown and especially the parish of st. rose of lima. >> i have no words that make the pain of what happened today easy to bear. i am heartbroken as i know all of you are. there is nothing more hurtful and tragic than the loss of innocence, but no more so when
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